Monday, August 18, 2008

Lamaze and Hickstead - What a Team!

It's not the greatest shot, but Eric Lamaze is the greatest show jumper.

He had an outstanding competition, flying over the jumps, blazing to the finish line, beating the clock handily. He put Canada into a medal hunt. In the jump off with the US for gold, he jumped clean and fast. But Jill Henselwood's 4 faults, plus 3 American riders in a row jumping clean led to Canada getting silver.

But what a silver!

Canada has not won a team medal since 1968, nor any show jumping medal since 1976. Ian Millar has tried 9 times to win an Olympic medal, and failed. But today, finally he had a team that gave him the push up he needed. He never gave up. He knew one day it would come. And today his optimism and Captain Canada attitude was proved right.

It's a happy story. A story of overcoming adversity, failure, optimism, perseverance in the face of more failure and cynics expecting the choke, facing increasing odds with extra determination instead of giving up -- a story with a confident attitude so different from the comments on too many of the CBC's online articles that reveal a collective low self-esteem that looks for the gray lining in the blue sky and aims to feel better by pulling others down. That attitude is so prevalent in Canada, even systemic, that I need the antidote of Canadian athletes in the Olympics. No matter how they do, they show smiles, determination, passion, joy, and ability to get up after falling down. It's inspiring, it's uplifiting, it's what this country needs to aspire to.

2 comments:

Marg said...

Hickstead doesn't jump he floats!
Way to Go Team!

talk talk talk / Shireen said...

No, no, he streaks! :)

Can't wait for Lamaze's individual event.